Senate confirms FCC chair to another term

Senate confirms FCC chair to another term
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The Senate on Monday voted 52-41 to confirm Ajit Pai to another term as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Senate for confirming my nomination to serve a second term at the FCC and to President Trump for submitting that nomination to the Senate," Pai said in a statement.
"Since January, the Commission has focused on bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and making the FCC more open and transparent."
Pai was approved with support from 48 Republicans and four Democrats: Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinWashington VIPs gather to celebrate Mark Penn's new book Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp GOP Senate candidate slams McCaskill over Clinton ties Dems meddle against Illinois governor ahead of GOP primary MORE (Mo.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersToyota halts self-driving car tests on public roads Coalition presses Transportation Dept. for stricter oversight of driverless cars Warren turns focus to Kushner’s loans MORE (Mich.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate GOP: We will grow our majority in midterms Senate passes bipartisan bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Green Party Senate candidate was previously on state GOP payroll: report MORE (Mont.).
"Ajit and I have been working together on a number of ways to bridge the digital divide in our country, especially in West Virginia, including adopting the Mobility Fund II, improving the accuracy of broadband coverage maps, and tailoring the Remote Areas Fund to reach the places that need it most," Manchin said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Ajit and the Commission to make sure that all Americans and West Virginians have access to broadband.”
But other Democrats vocally opposed his confirmation, hammering him in a series of floor speeches over his efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations, in particular the net neutrality rules.
“The FCC is tasked with the critical role of protecting consumers and promoting innovation in the telecommunications and technological fields that are becoming more and more integral to our day to day lives,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement ahead of the vote.

“However, over his time at the FCC and particularly in his tenure as Chairman so far, Mr. Pai has established a clear record of favoring big corporations at the expense of consumers, innovators, and small businesses,” he said.

Pai is repealing the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Democrats also blasted Pai for clearing the way for Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune and limiting the number of companies participating in an internet access subsidy program.

But Republicans who control the chamber were behind Pai, who was in no danger, needing only a simple majority for confirmation.